Gov. Phil Murphy, joined by First Lady Tammy Murphy and their four children, cast his vote today in Long Branch, near his home of Middletown. The state’s new early voting period began today at 10 a.m., meaning the Murphy family’s votes were among the first early votes cast in state history.
Emerging from the polling location, Murphy said that voting went smoothly, and that he was impressed with how well integrated the state’s new early voting systems and electronic poll books were.
“It was incredibly impressive,” he said. “The machines, the workers, the whole process – it’s really impressive. So I just want to make sure folks know that this is easy-peasy… I don’t care who you vote for, get out there and vote.”
Adding that early voting will now be a permanent fixture of New Jersey’s elections, Murphy rebuffed criticism that the nine extra days of voting were a waste of money.
“I think this is a very smart investment,” Murphy said. “Anything we can do to open up democracy is a good thing, and this is a good example.”
Murphy voted on digital machines and checked in using a stylus to sign the new electronic poll books that will automatically mark a voter’s ballot as cast. Murphy received a voting slip and a poll worker escorted him into a voting booth, curtained for privacy, to cast his ballot, according to a pool press report from the Asbury Park Press.
Murphy and Republican gubernatorial nominee Jack Ciattarelli will be criss-crossing the state in the coming days to promote early voting – most notably this afternoon, when Murphy will host a rally in Newark with former President Barack Obama.
Ciattarelli has yet to announce when and where he will vote, and if he’ll participate in the inaugural early voting period.